Each school year, thousands of young people are the victims of verbal and physical harassment. Every student should feel safe in school. The Other Side of the Closet by Ed Roy has been touring to Northern California middle and high schools every fall, since 2000 as part of the YouthAware Educational Theatre program with the New Conservatory Theatre Center based in San Francisco. The Other Side of the Closet supports a safe-school curriculum where students, teachers and parents can learn about respect, diversity, homophobia and the CA-Student Safety Act (AB537) in an innovative and engaging format. The play is set around a high school and tells the story of five friends who are dealing with issues of peer pressure, violence, homophobia, behavior norms, discrimination and identity. YouthAware program feature professional young actors who are cast to reflect our diverse bay Area audiences. Each performance is followed by a facilitated discussion with the cast, and handouts will be provided for teachers to continue discussion in the classroom.
The Nevada Union Club of FNL Peer Advocates for Health, in partnership with NEO and the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County, organized and hosted the assembly on campus. Jose Gamino, was the lead Peer Advocate in contacting the play director, organizing all of the details to get the theater reserved, making sure the play was approved by the school administration, and for promoting and recruiting classes to attend. Over 700 students attended between the 2 assemblies. The play was part of the National Prevention Week, to raise awareness about substance abuse and mental health issues, to Promote mental, emotional and behavioral well-being.